So off to the “Vogtsbauernhof” Black Forest Freilichtmuseum on Tuesday. Weather seems to be holding and we had a beautiful ride down through the countryside. Rolling green hills (or a little bit bigger than hills) with the tall pine trees that give the “Black Forest” their name. In the midst
of the green mountainside typical Black Forest farms that remind me of chalets. We would soon learn all about how farmers lived in these huge farmhouses.
These were all in one farmhouses, meaning they shared the house with their animals and the other farmworkers. There could be up to 15 or 20 people living in this house but they were enormous. The house was built into the side of the mountain so the farmer could drive his oxen and cart up and into the second story hayloft.
The farmer and his family and farmhands would eat together but in a pecking order. The farmer
at the head and the farmer’s wife to his left and the head farmhand at his right. What I find interesting is that they ate out of one bowl by dipping their spoons in. When the farmer was finished he put
his spoon down and everyone else had to quit. They would wipe their spoons on their pants and hang them back on the wall. There is a saying in Germany “when you give up your spoon” means you have departed this life.
We came to a smaller farmhouse that also included the stalls for the animals inside and attached to the outside of the house was an “outhouse” (they use a heart shape instead of a moon) this was connected to a trough inside the animals stall that I guess you would “collect” the manure and
send it down the trough to the barrel outside. Looks like the people used the small balcony to access the outhouse and the barrel and this all was used as fertilizer! Would not want to be the one who had to spread this on the fields.
They lived in such a beautiful place and the life was hard but it is so interesting how they ingeniously thought of all kinds of things to make their life a little easier.
We had some fun with some of the souvenirs too! Of course we
sampled the Black Forest cake before we took the train back to our magical home-base town.